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How to Free Yourself From Obsessive Thoughts

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Do you want freedom from compulsively thinking about something – or someone? These tips on how to free yourself from obsessive thoughts are inspired by a reader’s comment, and by my own recent discoveries.

How to Free Yourself From Obsessive ThoughtsIn Self-Defeating Behaviors: Free Yourself from the Habits, Compulsions, Feelings, and Attitudes That Hold You Back, Milton Cudney and Robert E. Hardy teach readers that, with each new moment, you have the ability to make a choice for either a self-defeating or self-enhancing behavior. You CAN find peace with this book – it’s a guide to freeing ourselves from the inappropriate and crippling behaviors that sabotage our success.

Learning the most effective ways to free yourself from obsessive thoughts depends on several factors: your personality, psychological makeup, lifestyle, worldview, spiritual orientation, and even your genetics. You’ll never find a quick and easy “formula” for freedom from obsessively thinking about your ex or something else in your life. These are the things that worked for me, when I found myself obsessing about an unhealthy breakup in my life. They may work for you – or you may need to try other ways to free yourself from an obsession.

How to Free Yourself From Obsessive Thoughts

“I am obsessed over this man,” says a reader who needs ways to heal a broken heart. “I find myself driving past his house. I even found out who the woman was and went to see what she looked like. I have gone out on a few dates, but I find my thoughts floating back to him. Please give me some advice on how to get past him.”

My tips on freeing yourself from obsessively thinking about your ex – or anything in life that is dragging you down – are inspired by my relationship with God.

Find a “replacement” for your obsession

Simply searching for the best tips on how to free yourself from obsessive thoughts won’t work. What you need is something to replace your negative thought patterns with. Something to fill the emptiness inside, to help you see that there is more to life than your relationship with your ex. The breakup was sad and painful, but it wasn’t the only thing in your life! If you have nothing to cling to – other than the thing you’re obsessively thinking about – then you’ll never be free from your obsessive thoughts.

Seek healing

It’s so tempting to dwell in your obsessive thoughts, to stay mired in the muck of the past! I know how you feel; I wrote How to Let Go of Someone You Love because I needed to learn how to free myself from obsessive thoughts about a bad family relationship. I interviewed several counselors, psychologists, and life coaches about how to find freedom, and learned many cognitive-behavioral and emotional techniques for healing from the past. But they didn’t really work, because the root of the problem was still there.

Figure out what the root of your obsession is

I learned that the reason I kept thinking obsessively about the sister I lost was because my family relationships are very important to me. So important, in fact, that they became my self-identity. If something bad or sad happened in my family, my whole world and self-image was shattered. I learned that the only way for me to learn how to free myself from obsessive thoughts was to change how I saw myself. Instead of defining myself as a rejected sister, I realized that I am a beloved and cherished child of God.

See yourself as God sees you

I have this image of how God sees me: as a little girl with bouncy curly dark pig tails, a huge smile, lots of enthusiasm and energy, all ribbons and curls – a girl who knows how loved and secure she is! She is free to twirl, bounce, jump, leap, and take risks because she is safe. Secure. Nothing that happens to her on the outside matters. She is anchored to her Father in Heaven, and she has learned the secret of how to free yourself from obsessive thoughts. She is full of joy, peace, and acceptance. She is secure.

How does God see you? Stop and think for a moment. Don’t just shrug off this exercise – it has the potential to change how you see yourself.

You may find The Parable of Letting Go in How to Let Go of a Relationship helpful.

Decide what you want your world to revolve around

Freedom From Obsessively Thinking

How to Free Yourself From Obsessive Thoughts

In her request for help finding freedom from obsession about her ex-boyfriend, my reader said her world revolved around him. Well then, of course it’s difficult to heal and move on! If your world revolves around a person, job, possession, animal, or anything in your life and you lose that thing, then you’ll have a terrible time finding freedom. The best tip on how to free yourself from obsessive thoughts is to be deliberate about what you want your life to be about. What is most important to you? Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go? How do you want to live? These are really important questions, and they can help you heal. If you’re obsessively thinking about something you’ve lost, then you need to make something else the focus of your life.

“Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.” – Rachel Naomi Remen.

I welcome your comments on how to free yourself from obsessive thoughts below. If you’d like to pray for healing from your obsession, feel free.

May you find security, peace, and freedom in Christ.

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2 thoughts on “How to Free Yourself From Obsessive Thoughts”

  1. I am a married woman over 10 years with children. Suddenly, I met a female who is married (unhappily married) and we had mutual feelings for one another. One day she brought me to another place and asked me “Who am I to you?” I was nervous & chicken out and responded “You are my boss” (She happen to be my boss as well). She was in anger and hurt. After the “business trip”, we returned back home. Two weeks later, I lost my job.
    Healing after a non closure good bye truelly hurts. It has been over 5 months and I still think about her. I searched for hobbies that will replaced my thoughts of her but in less than a month, I felt drained, tired. I worked out almost every single day and tried to join work out with other people. Up to this moment, I am in depression mode, off and on, I want to tell her that I loved her too but it might complicate the situation. A few nights ago, while driving she happened to be in front of us. I told my husband that was her he said it can’t be, maybe it is just the same car etc… I told him “No it is not, I know car and license plate”. He immediately went in to a different direction and I said “Why are u going in a different direction?! Drive by her I want to wave “hello” and he did. I smiled and waved at her and she waved back. (I did not directly confessed to my husband my feelings for her but he can read it thru my eyes, words and action).
    My heart felt so happy to have seen her.
    I WANT TO MOVE ON and I am not achieving it well. Any suggestion.
    (I did not proceed in the relationship because I had kids to think about)

  2. I have read some of your things you have said… and thank you so much for giving me advice on how to free myself from obsessive thoughts! but what bothers me the most, my ex left me a month ago and still I do think of him alot… my heart is very in love, we still made contact till last night ! he is very confused in away the he cant even read his own mind, there is much I could tell you but the main reason is, he doesnt even know what he wants in life …. first he told me he wants to be friends the he blocks me from everything, then he told my dad he doesnt want to be his friend on facebook anymore cause he doesnt want to see my photos ext so he went and deleted my dad…. second he told me we need to get over eachother so he could take the next step but he cant get over me he loves me to much, everything doesnt make sence to me